Blogs

The Amon Carter Turns 50 - Philip Johnson

The Amon Carter Museum designed by Philip Johnson (1906–2005), brought to the city of Fort Worth and to the state of Texas a new order of museum architecture. This building was to be a work of art to house art, a relationship that the critic Douglas Davis referred to as the union of the container and the contained. With the museum Johnson made four significant design statements: the axial relationship of the museum to the city, the great processional entrance way featuring the shellstone-clad portico, and the integration of the landscape forms with the building.

The museum was fortunate to have Philip Johnson design and oversee all three iterations of building and grounds. The original 1961 plan, the addition in 1977, and the current museum all were the “project of a lifetime” for this renowned architect.

When you visit the Amon Carter take a moment and look east to take in the view then travel through Mr. Johnson’s “goesinda” (one of Mr. Johnson’s favorite words), the center of the grand entrance to a grand collection of American art.

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Celebrating 50 with More New Looks

All our new marquee signs are up and proudly on view.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Marquee-Lancaster Ave.

Perhaps the biggest change is our new sign on the west end of the complex at the Lancaster-Camp Bowie-Montgomery St. intersection.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Marquee-West

Come celebrate our anniversary with great special exhibitions, programs, and special member events!

Celebrating 50 with a New Look

If you've visited or driven by the museum in the past week, you might have noticed a flurry of activity on both the Lancaster and Camp Bowie sides of the building. We officially changed our name to 'Amon Carter Museum of American Art' a few months back, and now the building's unique bronze signs have also been updated with our new name in celebration of our 50th Anniversary.

Here is a shot of the handsome new signage being installed late last week.

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Analog to Digital: Washington in Union Square

For the Presidents Day installment of our Analog to Digital series, we have a 1930 photograph by Berenice Abbott showing the famous statue of George Washington in New York's Union Square. This photo is interesting not only because it shows the statue off its distinctive base, but also because the statue was created by American sculptor Henry Kirke Brown. The Amon Carter has several Henry Kirke Brown sculptures in the collection, two of which (The Choosing of the Arrow and Filatrice) are currently on view in our painting and sculpture galleries.

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Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Washington in Union Square, 1930, Gelatin silver print, Gift of P/K Associates, New York, New York, © Commerce Graphics Ltd, Inc.

The Amon Carter Turns 50 - Mr. Carter's Collection

The Amon Carter has a renowned collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. This was Mr. Carter’s legacy he wanted to share with the citizens of Fort Worth. He developed an interest in the work by these two artists through his friendship with Will Rogers. In 1935, shortly before Roger’s tragic death in a plane accident, Carter made his first documented art purchases: a lively Remington oil painting His First Lesson (1903), and a group of nine Russell watercolors.

Frederic Remington (1861–1909), His First Lesson, oil on canvas, 1903
Frederic Remington (1861–1909), His First Lesson, oil on canvas, 1903

Mr. Carter's collection is on view at the museum in our Remington-Russell Study Center, generously funded through a grant by the Justin Foundation. There you will see paintings, works on paper, and sculptures with fascinating insights and information on the art and the artists. You can also view all the works by these two artists in the Amon Carter’s newest online collection guide. Be sure to check out the animated video describing the lost-wax bronze casting method that both artists use to create sculptures. You can also view videos by curator Rick Stewart that discuss three important pieces from the permanent collection.

Analog to Digital: Hearts and Hands

For our continuing Analog to Digital series, a completely unique photograph to celebrate Valentine's Day. Cataloged under our IMLS-funded digitization initiative, this is actually a black-and-white photograph tinted with watercolors. And those little hearts? Foil stickers that you tend to see at this time of year.

Rita DeWitt, Praying Hands Pursuing Flock of Hearts, 1978
Rita DeWitt (b. 1948), Praying Hands Pursuing Flock of Hearts, Gelatin silver print with applied foil labels and watercolor, Gift of the Society for Photographic Education, South Central Region, © 1978 Rita DeWitt

Nature Bound: Days 6 and 7

Yesterday we put the finishing touches on Nature Bound: Illustrated Botanical Books, including applying the vinyl title wall and well as tending to a myriad of other details. This morning the exhibition opened to the public, a few days ahead of its official opening date. Below you see one of the preparators working through the "sticky" process of placing the vinyl on the exhibition's title wall. FYI, I learned that this is the same vinyl that is used for car detailing. The next view shows a very special object in the exhibition: Romeyn Hough's American Woods. Hough spent the good part of his life on this project: he personally collected wood from over 400 species of trees growing in the U.S. to include in what finally came to be fourteen volumes of wood samples and accompanying information. We're showing eight of the wood sample cards in a custom-designed, backlit case, allowing a viewer to study the intricate pattern and color of the wood. The last image shows a section of the finished exhibition installation. All-in-all, I'm pleased. I think visitors will be surprised to find out that between the library collections at the Amon Carter and the Botanic Research Institute of Texas, we have in the cultural district some of the great achievements of botanic illustration.

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Nature Bound: Day 5

Hi there,

Today we nearly finished the installation of Nature Bound: Illustrated Botanical Books. Each object on display has a number that connects it with the related object information and discussion that is printed on the large panels that float above each case. Below you see one of the museum's preparators organizing a "deck" of these numbers. Below that you see the installation of the cut vinyl that makes up the title wall. We're getting close!

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Analog to Digital: Motor Trip to Mesa Verde

For our second installment of Analog to Digital, a new blog series documenting photographs from the Amon Carter's IMLS-funded digitization initiative, we have some very early road trip photos dating back to 1914. These images come from a tourist's photo album called Motor Trip to Mesa Verde and show not only the recently-created national park, but also the perils of driving on unpaved roads.

Unknown artist, Man shoveling mud to free car, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [Man shoveling mud to free car], gelatin silver print, 1914

Unknown artist, Houses destroyed by mudslide, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [Houses destroyed by mudslide], gelatin silver print, 1914

Unknown artist, People with large dog in car, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [People with large dog in car], gelatin silver print, 1914

Unknown artist, Two cars parking in front of cliff dwellings, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [Two cars parking in front of cliff dwellings], gelatin silver print, 1914

Milton Rogovin (1909-2011)

American photographer Milton Rogovin passed away yesterday at the age of 101. An optometrist whose business was ruined by his involvement with the Communist party, Rogovin is known for photographing the working poor in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. [NY Times obituary, and an NPR interview with Rogovin]

The following photographs comprise one of the Rogovin triptychs in the Amon Carter's photography collection and document the life of a Buffalo steelworker over several years.

Milton Rogovin, 1976, gelatin silver print
Milton Rogovin (1909-2011), 1976 from the series Portraits in Steel, gelatin silver print, ©1999 Milton Rogovin

Milton Rogovin, 1976, gelatin silver print
Milton Rogovin (1909-2011), 1976 from the series Portraits in Steel, gelatin silver print, ©1999 Milton Rogovin

Milton Rogovin, 1987, gelatin silver print
Milton Rogovin (1909-2011), 1987 from the series Portraits in Steel, gelatin silver print, ©1999 Milton Rogovin